Electronic Signatures and its Types
Anyone who is not accustomed to this may feel confused on what electronic signature is about and to how the different types of e-signature is different in regards to legality and evidential power. At basic level, any mark on electronic document could be used in capturing the intent of the signer to either accept or approve the content of that particular document. The form of mark or on how it is created is not really important. What matters a lot is being able to prove who have made the mark and that the document was not altered or modified.
As you read this article, you are going to learn about the types of electronic signatures used in today’s time.
Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – in most cases, this consists of scanned images, typed names, e-squiggles as well as tick boxes. When you make use of this category of signature, there is no cryptographic protection for the document. Having said that, the signatures are usually lacking of enough evidences of who have made the signature or protect the document from potential modifications. It may be that they’re cut and pasted from a different document.
Number 2. Basic electronic signature – these are going to need the signer to apply their hand signature mark on the document and then, it’ll be protected by making use of cryptographic digital signature. With the availability of basic e-signature, this will generate crypto digital signature that utilizes server held signing key. It is for the same reason why this is also called as “Witness” digital signature.
Number 3. Qualified and advanced e-signatures – AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively are providing the highest level of assurance and trust because these are one of a kind signing keys for each and every signer. This links directly to the identity of the user to signed document such that anyone could verify it on their own using industry standard PDF reader. Take note as well that these are also called as digital signatures than e-signatures.
Not only that, as the signer has a sole control of their private signing key, this guarantees non-repudiation, even if the service provider can’t be responsible for the creation of signature. Remote signing has plenty of benefits which include the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.
QES are actually the more trusted version of AES as it requires higher level of security to protect the signing key of the user and at the same time, a formal registration process in verifying their identity via qualified Certificate Authority.